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Alert message sent 23/11/2020 11:14:00
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23 November 2020
News and appeals
Sussex Police launches final police officer recruitment drive of 2020
Sussex Police has today, Monday (16 November), opened recruitment for the third time this year, as part of its push to drive up officer numbers by 2022.
During this round of recruitment, the final opportunity for this year, applications will be sought for cohorts to join the force in late 2021 as part of a three-year programme where they will study for a degree in professional policing practice while undertaking their training. The Degree Holders Entry Programme also offers a two-year option for those who want to fast-track to a policing career.
In the financial year 2020/21 Sussex Police is on track to recruit over 290 Officers. This will ensure it recruits into the 129 additional officers as a result of Operation Uplift (the government increase of 20,000 nationally) and 50 additional officers funded by the precept. In addition, the recruitment plans ensure that it replaces all those officers who leave the force during the year – normally as a result of retirement. As such Sussex Police will see a net increase of 179 officers over the financial year. Read full story here.
Weapons seized during Operation Sceptre action in West Sussex
Police working as part of Operation Sceptre, the nationwide campaign to tackle knife crime, executed a warrant at an address in Storrington and seized 120 weapons including knives, crossbows and swords.
The warrant, carried out about 12 midday on Friday (13 November) followed information regarding the manufacture and distribution of weapons.
A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the manufacture of offensive weapons and has been released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing.
Sergeant Scott Walters said: “Keeping knives and dangerous items off the streets and away from the communities we serve to protect is one of our key priorities.
“This is a huge number of weapons we now know have been safely recovered and I’d like to thank the fantastic work from our officers in making this possible.”
The warrant followed police teams working as part of Operation Sceptre have seized a number of weapons after visiting a number of addresses across West Sussex on Thursday (12 November)
Following information from UK Border Force, officers visited 12 addresses of people who have imported knives and offered them the opportunity to hand them over.
A total of 14 knives and one extendable baton were seized by officers. Four community resolutions were issued to individuals who had imported prohibited weapons.
Sergeant Scott Walters added: "Visiting these individuals provided us with the opportunity to further understand why people are buying weapons and put safeguarding in place for those who need it.
"This work forms a crucial part of our campaign against knife crime. If we can work with our partners in UKBF to stop weapons entering the country in the first place, this reduces the risk of them reaching the streets and our communities and causing harm."
Anyone with information or concerns about knife crime is asked to report online or call 101. Read more here.
Proactive policing and protecting communities remains our focus during second lockdown
Sussex Police’s Chief Constable has thanked local communities for their perseverance during the second national lockdown, revealing police are now dealing with the full range of crimes alongside policing the pandemic.
Crime patterns have shown an increase in some offences including drug trafficking and possession and in public order. Other crimes have also now returned to pre-Covid levels.
Jo Shiner said the focus remains on daily policing, assessing where police resources will have the most impact and continuing to proactively disrupt criminal activity.
“Levels of crime are back to where they were before Covid but our officers are out there making sure we are tackling those everyday incidents that impact the most on our communities,” she said.
“We want to catch criminals, and bring to justice those who bring harm and fear into our communities. We will continue to do that, and we have dedicated enforcement teams within the force to support that work.
“Our proactive police teams have been responsible for dismantling five county drugs lines in the past two months, working hard to address the organised criminal activity that is associated with acquisitive and violent crime in our local communities.
“Covid has not impacted on our policing resources and we will continue to assess everything on its merits and focus our resources appropriately.”
Alongside catching criminals, protecting communities and delivering an outstanding service are the top priorities for Chief Constable Jo Shiner.
In particular, victims of domestic violence are urged to come forward safe in the knowledge that additional measures have been put in place to ensure they can access help quickly and discretely.
This includes raising awareness of the support services available to victims through enhanced messaging on social media, our website, in newspaper adverts and through community engagement in essential locations such as supermarkets, to reach out to those not online. Read more here.
Sussex Police continued support for domestic abuse victims
Sussex Police have successfully introduced new initiatives to encourage the reporting of domestic abuse and to support victims, an issue which remains a priority for the force at this crucial time of further lockdown.
Since a new specialist unit was set up in March more than half of people reporting cases that are not immediately urgent have opted for a special video appointment service that can be used when conversations can’t take place face to face for any reason.
The 30-strong Local Resolution Team of specially trained officers are dedicated to dealing with reports of domestic abuse which are not immediately urgent. They discuss the incident with the caller, carry out an initial investigation and provide safeguarding advice, to leave the victim feeling safer than before and to explore available investigative opportunities to prosecute and prevent domestic abuse.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland, Head of the force's Public Protection Command said; "Our preference is to see someone face to face in private at a police station. However, in March we recognised that restrictions such as vulnerable categories, self-isolation, or travel, might make people less able to attend so the force introduced new video conferencing technology.
"The officers obtain a safe contact number and send a one time text message to the caller's smartphone. Activating this link puts the caller in to a virtual waiting room where one of our officers will be able to see and talk to them so that an investigation can take place."
Between March and the end of October over 3200 video appointments took place. Read more here.
New website to help prevent terrorism
This Release is issued on behalf of National Counter-Terrorist Policing;
The impact of Covid-19, social isolation and a rise in hateful extremism online is creating a ‘perfect storm’ which is making more young people vulnerable to radicalisation and other forms of grooming.
But parents, friends and families can now get specialist support to stop their loved ones being drawn into harmful activities or groups, with the launch of ACT Early - a new dedicated safeguarding website and advice line from the specialists at Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP).
This new resource will provide advice, guidance and support for anyone who is concerned that someone they know may be at risk from being radicalised by terrorists or extremist content online.
Between 1st January 2019 and 30th June 2020, 17 children have been arrested in relation to terrorism offences. Some were as young as 14 years old, while nearly all will have been radicalised entirely online. In the same time period, more than 1500 children under the age of 15 were helped by the Prevent programme to choose a different path, away from hatred and violence.
Family and friends are best placed to spot the worrying behaviour changes which can indicate that a loved one is heading down a path towards terrorism, but currently just 2% of referrals into the Government’s anti-radicalisation programme Prevent come from that group of people.
Prevent is just that – a preventative programme, delivered locally by teachers, healthcare practitioners, social workers, the police, charities, and religious leaders. It places protection around people vulnerable to radicalisation, stopping them from being drawn into terrorism – regardless of the ideology. Read more here.
Help us keep Sussex safe
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
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Anna Habdas (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)